Good discovery questions take a bit of a Goldilocks approach. Ask too many, and you risk running an interrogation. Ask too few, and you might not discover your prospect’s true pain points. But ask just the right ones, and you hit the sweet spot of discovery.
Experts recommend agents aim for between 11 and 14 discovery questions per a typical sales call (fewer if selling to a C-suite executive). So, here are 13 of our favorite sales discovery calls designed to help you unearth precisely what your customers want and need.
Top 13 Sales Discovery Questions
Discovery questions are how you uncover critical sales information in the sales cycle. It’s your first opportunity to talk to a qualified prospect about whether your product or service is a good fit. That makes it critical to ask the right discovery questions during this phase of the sales process.
So, let’s dive right in on what to ask your leads in your information-gathering calls.
Question 1: What Initially Piqued Your Interest in Us?
Lobbing a softball question at the start helps you uncover a lead’s motivations for checking out your product or service. Sometimes a prospect will give you enough information in their response to this question that you can skip to more complex questions more quickly.
Question 2: What Problem Are You Trying to Solve?
It’s just as important to disqualify leads as it is to qualify them. This question lets you determine whether a prospect is a good candidate for what you offer early in the call. For instance, if a lead tells you they’re just “exploring their options,” they’re unlikely ready to move forward in the sales process immediately.
Question 3: How Are You Managing the Problem Now?
Once you know the problem a prospect is trying to solve, you need to understand why their current solution isn’t working. Did they choose another product that wasn’t up to the task, or do budget constrictions prevent them from buying yours? The goal’s to ferret out whether your product would work better so you aren’t left trying to force a square peg into a round hole.
Question 4: What Metrics Are You Measuring?
Organizations buy solutions for all sorts of reasons which means they have different metrics they measure to determine if they’re succeeding in their goals. If they can’t list measurable goals, it could be a red flag, as it becomes more difficult for you to promise your solution will work.
Question 5: Have You Explored Other Options?
Asking a prospect where they are in the evaluation process gives you two critical pieces of information: a lead’s timeline and the competitors you’re up against. Follow-up questions might include, “When do you want the solution in place,” or “Which other companies are you talking to?”
Question 6: Are You the Sole Decision Maker?
Most companies require multiple people to weigh in on critical decisions, so it’s likely the prospect on your discovery call isn’t the only stakeholder in your deal. By asking, “Who else on your team will be involved in the evaluation process,” you ensure getting facetime with all decision-makers.
Question 7: How Will Our Product or Services Benefit Your Company?
Introducing a new solution can result in everything from risk mitigation to financial changes and strategic choices. Knowing these anticipated benefits helps you see the value your solution will provide.
Question 8: Do You Have Other Priorities You Need to Manage First?
Does the prospect have a pressing issue, or is it something they don’t need to solve immediately? If the problem isn’t time-bound, you might be able to help them with other issues they’re trying to solve.
Question 9: What Alternative Solutions Have You Looked Into?
This question is less about revealing competitors and more about discovering whether or not a lead has alternative ways of solving their problem. Knowing what these alternatives are let you better understand how to pitch your solution as the most valuable.
Question 10: How Does Our Solution Compare to Those Others?
Understanding who and what you’re up against is crucial to closing a deal. The aim here is to determine if a prospect finds another company’s solution more compelling than yours and whether your production or service would help them more. If not, it’s best to move on to the next lead.
Question 11: What Do You Think the Roadblocks Are to Implementing Our Solution?
This is more of a disqualifying question. Remember, you only have so much selling time in a day, week, or month. The lead’s response will give you a good idea of whether pursuing the prospect is worth any more of your effort.
Question 12: If It Sounds Like Our Solution Will Work, What Is Your Company’s Approval Process?
The answer to this question gives you a roadmap of what it takes for your lead to approve your product. Consider this a final attempt to extract any more useful information from the prospect, and use their answer to determine whether everyone’s ready to move forward on the deal.
Question 13: What Would You Suggest as Our Next Step?
This last discovery question gets a prospect to move the deal forward. You can also discover what hurdles could delay the process or stop it from happening altogether.
Want to learn how a CRM solution like OnCourse can help you create a centralized location for discovery information and lead to more closed deals? Sign up today!